To the accompaniment of dangdut pop music, several trucks honked their horns as they entered Kanjuruhan Stadium’s arena in Malang, East Java, recently.
Thousands of modified trucks of various makes and ages lined up in rows to hold the third gathering of the city’s truck driver and truck lover communities known as kopdar.
The event is an annual activity for truck owners, drivers, transportation service users and truck lovers — a forum to foster bonds of friendship and an opportunity for traffic-discipline education.
A total of 1,200 trucks from different cities and regencies in East Java took part in the third meeting, which this year took the theme Kumpul boleh oleng jangan (Getting together is great but not getting drunk).
“The theme means truck drivers, with all the temptations faced on road including booze, should avoid getting drunk while driving so as not to reduce their income from truck rentals and for their families,” said Widi Satria, deputy head of the event's organizing committee, during the gathering on Dec. 8.
Widi said this year’s gathering highlights were dangdut and a DJ, along with a social program to assist fellow drivers facing misfortune, as well as charity visits to orphanages.
Unlike last year, when about 2,000 trucks joined the modification competition, this time around the program was not held in Malang but in the West Java town of Purwakarta instead.
The event in Malang was organized by drivers and their assistants affiliated with the Malang Truck Community.
The participating trucks were delivery vehicles, dump trucks and classic trucks. Some of them were still loaded with chilies to be forwarded to destination cities after the event.
The event was also celebrated by the truck lovers’ community known as the CCTV community on social media. They took selfies with the trucks they considered unique or well decorated.
“I’m from the Blitar CCTV community. I’ve come here with eight other enthusiasts by motorcycle. I like modified trucks and I love to take their pictures to be posted on Facebook and Instagram. We also often exchange stickers with truck drivers,” said Erlianda Alfajri, 18.
Truck driver Moch. Dewa Atohilah said he had worked with his employer for seven years and usually carried chilies, fruit and other goods from Malang to Jakarta, Bali, Lampung and Palembang in South Sumatra, and back.
“The truck I’m driving is a 2017 model and its modification cost at least Rp 40 million [US$2,859]. An attractive, clean and unique truck is our source of pride and customers will trust us to deliver their goods. We’re happy if people like our trucks and circulate them in the social media to boost our work ethos”, said the 34-year-old with 13 years’ experience as a driver,
CCTV truck lovers are of great help to truck drivers, especially through information sharing when it comes to accidents or problems, including truck thefts. The members maintain social media networks and WhatsApp groups particularly in Java, Sumatra, Bali and Kalimantan.
“This activity basically promotes friendship and a good relationship among truck owners, drivers, their assistants and truck enthusiasts,” Widi said.